Archives for posts with tag: Love

Windmills Afternoon w Clouds DSCN0244 edit WEB (1) (1)

We celebrated a lovely Wiccan Mabon Rite outdoors this year. We were at our very pleasant mountain retreat, provided by the Temple’s High Priestess, GreenBerry. We had scheduled the celebration well in advance, and were met with a gorgeous breezy evening in unseasonably cool weather.

At Mabon, we observe the second of the three Wiccan Thanksgiving feasts. We express our gratitude to The Goddess and The God for the bounty of Nature’s goodness. Knowing that Deity ensouls the Earth and the Universe, and is omnipresent in the natural world as well as in the realms of Spirit, gives us deep and authentic gratitude for what to some may seem mundane. We know that the joy of our existence, of our lives on the Sacred Earth, is a gift of experience that makes for Spiritual growth of every Witch in our Temple.

Without the fruits of the harvest, of the grains and the vegetables and the fruits, all products of the magic of the marriage of energy, rainwater, the earth itself, and the air that the plants (and us Witches) breathe, there would be no chance for us to experience the communion with Deity that engenders love and ecstasy. Without the divine magic of seed and soil, sunshine, and the breeze and rain, we would not be, and we see our beingness as the greatest gift.

This year, we had the most blessed time during our Rite. Two Elder High Priests, one High Priestess, a Priestess and two students who were Dedicating to study for initiation into the clergy were present. Some of our beloved clergy and students were not able to be with us physically, but, they were in our hearts and present in spirit. What was conspicuously and blessedly absent was Ego. When we raise Sacred Circle for worship, we enter there in “perfect love and perfect trust.” We understand and teach that much of the separateness that is espoused in secular culture is an illusion for a Witch. The high ideals we strive for and teach about cannot be achieved while remaining separate and apart from the Sacred Earth, or from each other. To achieve the blessed magic we do, we know that we are a part of one earth, of one solar system, and one common humanity. To enable our personal realization of this love and trust requires us to silence the ever boisterous “me” within, and instead, listen to the “us” which we share.

The weather was unexpectedly cold enough to find that during the Rite, it was best for us to hurry along. Within the Sacred Circle, with the Elements and The Gods present, we were cold in the beautiful first breath of autumn. In the state of perfect love and perfect trust, we were conscious of each other. We drew up seating close around the bonfire, and skipping some of the dramaturgy planned, we went on to share the Dedication of our students. There was no ego. No judging, discerning, or whining. That is where Wiccan people who have clear understanding of the joy of unity stay. Wiccans stay in their joy and love. And in love, self-centeredness and selfishness fades, and Deity ensouls the group with love. This happens despite some challenges which may come around.

When The Goddess arrives in circle, she generally informs us that “…My law is Love unto all beings.” We are grateful for that. We hold that to our hearts. We did this Mabon, as we recalled and celebrated that the Divine Light of The God had now entered into the seed. This special presence of Deity in the seed and in other storage crops would sustain us and our neighbors through the dark part of the year when obtaining food would be more difficult. It also contained within it the promise of continuing life and future crops. These are crops that are both the Bounty of The Sacred Earth and the growth of human love.

In Wicca, love is so very central to our relationship with Deity; with the Goddess and the God.

In the Rite of Calling Down the Moon, when the Charge of the Goddess is given, we hear the words “…for my law is love unto all beings.”

High Priestess Phyllis Curott, founder of the Ara tradition of Wicca, asserts her assessment that “…Love is the power we work with.”

In Wicca, we do not have faith. We experience Deity as immanent, in Nature and the greater world all around us. Between the worlds, in solitary circle or within our covens or larger community circles, we experience Deity’s transcendent nature when we invoke or evoke our Goddess and God. We lovingly call, and then meet the high spiritual person of the Divine.

To learn to perform the actions of ritual, in the absence of communion with perfect and boundless love of Deity will not, for very long, aid us in our lives. Nor will our workings and acts of will have much effect, if not formed with consciousness and love of the Divine, the world and nature, or love of the human people we share the sacred with.

In Liber AL vel Legis, Aleister Crowley stated “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the Law, Love under Will.” Crowley firmly and directly equates Love and will in the Thelemic formula of this statement of the law.

To learn to practice Wicca is to learn to love. Then, it is always helpful for us to keep conscious of just what love is, recalling how we have experienced love in the special sacred encounters with Deity, and by observing how the immanent Divine sculpts and ensouls a universe in which we may learn and experience the nature of all things, and which universe, for the time, maintains our very lives.

This passage from an Epistle of Paul considers some of the aspects of love, albeit with a color of belief thrown in.

However, the characterizations of Love form a good meditation for a Witch beginning to pursue a practice that encompasses experiences of power far beyond the mundane. If we are truly to progress, and to grow spiritually, we Wiccans must be ever conscious of Love and its Power in us and in the world, and in the Gods who are both immanent and transcendent.

“Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited,

it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances.

Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth.

It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes.

Love never comes to an end. ”

Whilst I am no Paulist, this is one passage that I find so sweet. Unlike the author, we Wiccans have no long wait to realize many of these things. They are within us. If forgotten, when we circle to meditate, to teach, to celebrate or to work, Deity will inform our consciousness if we will to receive Divine gifts.

Soon now, in this year as I write, now celebrating Imbolc or Candlemas, the popular secular celebration of Valentine’s Day will be observed in many parts of the world. This homage to romantic love will have the word, Love, on many lips.

This celebration may be a re-creation of many more pagan rites from antiquity, from several different classical and pre-classical cultures of the Mediterranean. Many Wiccans who participate in classical reconstruction rites will celebrate Lupercalia or the Bacchanalia. There are complex myths and evolutions of the various mysteries of ancient times which center around the date of the modern Valentine’s Day. Various cults in different eras conducted different rites around these same days. It is thought that the celebrations in this month of February could point to the earliest record of the Eleusinian mysteries in the fragments that have come down to us.

It will be easy for Wiccans to be drawn to only the mundane concept of romantic love, or, of Eros, the passionate sexual love, and to forget the wider kind of Platonic love often expressed by the Greek word Philia and the Divine Love translated from Koine Greek as Agape. Each kind of love has its own special place in Wiccan practice, and creates its own magical energy.

Of the two, for those who seek spiritual growth and personal peace through Wicca, Agape and Philia, together form the general love of all that is which is always available to call upon. Love is the power of the truest magic.

It can be thought of as almost a force of physics in the natural world, where like does attract like at the most minute levels of existence. We know that the electromagnetic force repels like charges, yet in the nuclei of atoms, positive charges become bound to each other very strongly. When the atom splits, a huge amount of energy is released.

For the Wiccan, love is much like that, in that it will draw more love in to the Witch, if he or she masters it. To truly work an act of will, the outcome must be known and loved, purely and completely.

Consider meditation of love with the Goddess or God you have the greatest affinity for, or, with Aphrodite Ourania, or with Venus, or with Brigid, during this first half of February. In you daily circle at home, spend time between the worlds with Deity and ask to know love fully. Deity will teach you and form you in love, if you ask sincerely and with love.

The Goddess offers us many blessings in The Charge of the Goddess, telling us: “Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.” Recall that when the Charge is given in the ritual Calling Down The Moon, she earlier explains that Her law is love to all beings.

As practical exercise, you may wish to take a dictionary and re-visit the meanings of these words and their origins: Love, Beauty, Strength, Power, Compassion, Honor, Humility, Mirth, and Reverence. How do these all tie in with magical nature of love and its characteristics?